Here you’ll find some interesting Thanksgiving facts, traditions and other bits of information relating to the history of Thanksgiving.
The traditional cornucopia was a curved goat’s horn filled to brim with fruits and grains. According to Greek legend, Amalthea (a goat) broke one of her horns and offered it to Greek God Zeus as a sign of reverence. As a sign of gratitude, Zeus later set the goat’s image in the sky also known as constellation Capricorn. Cornucopia is the most common symbol of a harvest festival. A Horn shaped container, it is filled with abundance of the Earth’s harvest. It is also known as the ‘horn of plenty’.
It was not until 1941, that congress declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It was declared to be the fourth Thursday in November.
The first known thanksgiving feast or festival in North America was celebrated by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and the people he called “Tejas” (members of the Hasinai group of Caddo-speaking Native Americans).
Here’s one of those funny Thanksgiving facts: Turkeys have heart attacks. When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead.
Turducken, a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, is becoming more popular in Thanksgiving (originated in Louisiana). A turducken is a de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. The cavity of the chicken and the rest of the gaps are filled with, at the very least, a highly seasoned breadcrumb mixture (although some versions have a different stuffing for each bird).
Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas 10 million years ago.
91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
There are regional differences as to the “stuffing” (or “dressing”) traditionally served with the turkey. Southerners generally make theirs from cornbread, while in other parts of the country white bread is the base. One or several of the following may be added: oysters, apples, chestnuts, raisins, celery and/or other vegetables, sausage or the turkey’s giblets.
Thomas Jefferson thought the concept of Thanksgiving was “the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard.”
Every President since Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day. But in 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season. This upset people.
Fifty percent of Americans put the stuffing inside the Turkey.
The North American holiday season (generally the Christmas shopping season in the U.S.) traditionally begins when Thanksgiving ends, on “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving); this tradition has held forth since at least the 1930s.
On the West Coast of the US, Dungeness crab is common as an alternate main dish instead of turkey, as crab season starts in early November.